How do atheists rationally know truth from fiction?
Debate Rounds (5)
Answering this question is the sole purpose for this debate. If you are unable or unwilling to answer this question, do not respond to this debate. Likewise, if you do not believe in reality, believe you make it up or deny it is objective or knowable, or if you do not know how to rationally know truth from fiction, do not respond to this debate. If you are terrified of cross-examination or madly in love with red herrings, do not respond to this debate. If you have responded before, do not respond to this debate. After all, if you had nothing rational to say then, you will having nothing rational to say now.
If all you have is "science", do not respond to this debate, for science relies on the your senses and reason, which begs the question of how you know your senses and reason are valid. Perhaps you can tell me, which is fine, but if the way you validate you senses and reason is with your senses and reason, you lose the debate because that is circular reasoning and circular reasoning is not rational.
if you respond in violation of these rules, you automatically lose the debate.
1) "Given a written statement, how do we decide whether it is true or false?"
That one is simple. We compare the statement with our existing knowledge. If it is strongly supported, we consider it true. If it conflicts, we consider it false. If it cannot be decided with our existing knowledge, we simply don't decide.
More technically, we can use the principles of rationality and our existing knowledge to compute a probability that this statement is true. Our maximum permitted confidence in our answer can now be calculated by checking how close this probability is to 0 or 1.
2) "Given a written statement, how do we decide if its author wrote this as a fact or if he invented it?"
This is easy if you can use rationality properly. For that, we just need to find a couple of probabilities:
- How likely is it that this statement would have been written by someone who knew it?
- How likely is it that this statement would have been written by someone who didn't know it?
- How likely is it that the author can know this if it is true?
- How likely is it that the statement is true in the first place?
Then we can simply apply Bayes' Theorem to find out the probability that the statement is fact rather than fiction.
PS: By the way, we can use Bayes' Theorem in the other direction to update our knowledge of reality! Here's how:
Again, we need some probabilities.
- How likely did I think it is that I see this statement written down if it is true?
- How likely did I think it is that I see this statement written down if it is false?
- How likely did I think this statement was before I saw it written down?
Apply Bayes' Theorem, and we get the new probability that the statement is true, considering the new evidence of seeing this statement. This is how all second-hand knowledge can be upgraded into first-hand knowledge.
Next, he says he knows what is true or false based on existing knowledge. But this just begs the question of how he got the "existing knowledge" in the first place. Indeed, if the only way he knows something is true or false is by comparing it to existing knowledge, he cannot grow in his knowledge for whatever new information he is presented will be outside of his old information he already knows, leaving him without the ability to know if it Is true or not. Since he does not decide under the circumstances, he cannot ever acquire new knowledge, which means he can never have existing knowledge. His view leaves him ignorant and irrational
And he did not tell me how he knows is "existing knowledge" is true. He simply assumes it is, which is, again, begging the question.
And he still has the same problem as I pointed out in the R1 post: how does he know what a written statement says or how it compares to his "existing knowledge" without use of his senses and reason? If he does not, he must show how he knows his senses and reason are valid without resort to his senses and reason, which he cannot do. Thus, he is guilty of irrational circular reasoning, which means he loses the debate again.
The rest of his post is simply nonsense given the failure of his first approach.
There is no point in trying to educate you as you will clearly purposefully misrepresent my arguments at any opportunity instead of even attempting to understand them. There is also no point in trying to convince the audience of my superiority, just as there is no glory in punching a baby.
I forfeit this debate. Have a good life, and may you one day ever actually want to learn anything again.
Oh and by the way, you asked a question. I answered your question correctly. It's your own fault if you don't understand it. I win ;)
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by klaralein 1 year ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con provided no arguments the entire debate, so arguments goes to Pro. Con provided no sources for sources goes to Pro.
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